How To React To Good Style Transgressions

Occasionally, someone new to WardsWiki comes along and starts editing in ways that go against the grain of Wiki conventions. Usually, a WikiGnome will just fix the edits, and life goes on. That's WhyWikiWorks. But sometimes, a new user objects to anonymous stylistic changes, even when those changes reflect the standards of the community. New users aren't vandals--they just have different perspectives. If we want to keep a consistent style within WardsWiki, we need to find a way to gently guide new users into good practices.


WikiGnomes need to be extra-cautious when making stylistic changes to the edits of new users. It might be best to put a signed note on the new user's HomePage explaining the changes, and politely letting the user know that the changes aren't a personal affront. If the user still takes umbrage, drop the issue altogether: it's likely that another WikiGnome will do the same thing later, and might be able to phrase the explanation differently, in a way that the new user will understand. Under no circumstances should stylistic differences escalate to the point where you SetTheBozoBit or launch personal attacks. It's just not worth it.


Wiki is not static. Over time, what is GoodStyle will change, so WikiGnomes need to be reasonable. Consider whether the stylistic differences are disruptive enough to worry about. Even if you think that SturgeonsLaw applies to new users' WikiInnovations, that means that at least 10% of what they come up with are good ideas and are worth leaving alone.


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